PostureMinder’s Weblog

February 28, 2008

Tomorrow (29th Feb) is International RSI Awareness Day.

Filed under: Posture Musings — Dr Phil @ 3:19 pm
Repetitive strain injuries are on the increase, and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapists (amongst other organisations) are busy in the media highlighting this increase and the costs to business of absences due to RSI.
The advice the CSP give for avoiding developing RSI and other musculoskeletal health problems is pretty straightforward – make sure you don’t over-stretch your body while you’re doing your repetitive tasks, and make sure you take regular short breaks. Isn’t it weird how few of us (myself definitely included) find it so hard to do these simple things?

The limitation of single-day campaigns like this is precisely that they are “one-offs”. Once the message has been delivered, that’s it. The same with employers providing DSE training once or twice a year – perfectly sensible messages seem to bounce off the impenetrable shield of our bad habits!

It’s precisely this problem that PostureMinder was conceived to overcome. Instead of just telling you once about how you should be sitting, it proactively helps you to sit like that. When you go back to your bad habits, you get a friendly reminder – nothing severe (some employers have asked for an electric shock, but we’re saving that for version 2.0!), just a gentle message to help you change how you’re sitting.
There’s no point trying to force the issue, people have to go at their own speed and assign their own priority to the issue, so we provide plenty of settings for people to adapt it to suit them.
Now PostureMinder doesn’t directly look at anything to do with RSI. But by encouraging you to take regular breaks, and not to sit in bad postures that are likely to have a knock-on effect on how you type, mouse, and hold your shoulders while using the computer, it’s bound to have a significant knock-on effect on your risk of RSI as well as back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches and eye fatigue. And it’s an effect that won’t be here today, gone tomorrow – unlike RSI awareness day!
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